PIANO SAFE: Luigi Giacalone inspects the damaged house he was renting in Lennox Head where his piano survived the tornado with just a few scratches.
PIANO SAFE: Luigi Giacalone inspects the damaged house he was renting in Lennox Head where his piano survived the tornado with just a few scratches.

Beloved piano survives tornado

LUIGI GIACALONE considers himself a fortunate man.

He was upstairs in his two-storey Lennox Head rental house when the tornado struck last Thursday morning. He escaped with just a bruise.

Downstairs, his car was wrecked as the roof on the house collapsed.

But his beloved piano – an upright Beale he has owned for 10 years – survived with just a few scratches and is still playable.

Luigi, now 50, has been playing piano since he was nine years old.

“It's in my heart,” he said. “The first thing I thought when it hit was ‘my piano'.

“You get attached to it more than a car.

“I had a good PC, but I wasn't worried about that. I was worried about my piano.”

A crane was used to lift the piano out of the rubble and it is now in storage – safe and sound.

He said the piano had great sentimental value because he had always owned a piano since he was a boy.

Luigi said he couldn't put into words how much his pianos had meant to him – and how happy he was his piano survived the storm.

However, three of his piano accordions weren't so lucky.

One of them was visible in the debris as demolition crews came in to start the clean-up at the property.

Meanwhile, Luigi is one of 31 people who have been left homeless by the storm.

He is being supported by the NSW Department of Community Services.

But he has to find a new home to rent.

Luigi has been living at Lennox Head for 10 years, with regular incremental increases in the rent on his property.

When the storm struck, he was paying $210 a week.

But he has been looking for a new place, and is disappointed he may be forced to move from Lennox because rentals are now much higher than what he was paying, with rents of more than $300 a week.

“I'll have to go somewhere where I don't know anybody and start my new life,” he said.



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